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Construction of Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle to Reshape China's Economic Landscape

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Oct 29,2020

On October 16, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting to deliberate the Planning Outline for the Construction of Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle.

The Planning Outline is a re-enhancement and re-deployment of the Chengdu-Chongqing region since the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle construction was first proposed at the sixth meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs on January 3.

The entire western region, occupying 71% of the country’s land area, accounts for about 20% of the GDP.

Official data show that the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, accounting for 2.8% of the country’s land area and 18% of the total population, contribute about 38% to the GDP, while the entire western region, occupying 71% of the country’s land area, accounts for only about 20% of the GDP.

“As the 14th Five-Year Plan is coming, the country is focusing on breaking the middle income trap and addressing the problem of unbalanced development,” said Yang Jirui, Vice President of Chinese Association for Regional Economics and Dean of Chengdu and Chongqing Economic Zone Development Institute of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.

He introduced that compared with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the eastern and coastal areas, the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle lies in the interior of China. If this economic circle develops well, the central and western regions will also rise, which is conducive to the country’s coordinated regional development with multiple centers and is of strategic significance in forming a new pattern of western development and promoting high-quality development of the western region.

Yang added, in the current pattern of international competition, when the external circulation is impacted, economic circles like the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would be hit harder in terms of the industrial chain and supply chain.

However, as the western inland Chengdu-Chongqing region used to be the hinterland of the internal circulation, the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle can undertake part of the eastern industrial transfer, shifting the industrial chain and supply chain to the western region of the internal circulation from the external circulation. Through relying on the Belt and Road, New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and other outward passageways, it can also take on the heavy responsibility of the external circulation of China’s economy.

Through relying on New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and other outward passageways, it can also take on the heavy responsibility of the external circulation of China’s economy.

Yang believed that the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle will reshape China’s economic landscape and form a “dual circulation” development pattern whereby domestic and foreign markets can boost each other. The Chengdu-Chongqing region needs to intensify scientific research innovation and break the bottlenecks in scientific and technological innovation, so as to make the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle more irreplaceable in the new “dual-circulation” development pattern.

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